In the last post introducing our employees you met Jarle, and it is now time for me to introduce Tomas Jansson.
Tomas is our most recent hire, at the time being, in the engineering team and is hired as a Platform Engineer. He is not as funny as Jarle, but that might be because he is Swedish and speaks Svorsk (a mix of Swedish and Norwegian) making it hard to understand the few jokes that come out of his mouth. The experience Tomas has is something that we will sprinkle all over our technological landscape here at Unacast.
My name is Tomas, and I’m 35 years old. I was born in Bålsta (outside of Stockholm) and moved to Nödinge (outside of Gothenburg) when I was 12 years old. I identify myself as someone coming from Gothenburg and is also my preferred city in Sweden.
I spent most of my youth playing football and floorball. I did fairly well in both and when I came to Norway I got the opportunity to play some floorball in the highest division here in Norway, which was fun until I injured my knee pretty bad. So now I’m just a retired floorball player hacking my way through life.
My college years were spent at Chalmers University of Technology where I graduated in 2006 with a Master of Science in Computer Science and Engineering with specialization in Applied Mathematics and Alghorithms. During this time, I also had an internship at VMware Inc. in Palo Alto which was my first real experience of a start-up that has succeeded.
My spare time nowadays is spent mainly together with my family. When my family has gone to bed, I try to find some time to explore the world of programming even more and most of the time that means functional programming for me at the moment.
Before joining Unacast I worked as an IT-consultant for four different firms in both Sweden and Norway. It was at the last employer I got to know half of the team here at Unacast. My programming background is mainly .NET, and I am currently a Microsoft Most Valuable Professional.
The top four reasons I joined Unacast are:
The engineering team - With a great team I believe you can accomplish astonishing things, and that is something I think Unacast has. I knew more than half of the engineering team when I signed for Unacast, so I knew that the team here is great. A couple of attributes that I appreciate in my team members are that they all are skilled problem solvers, they challenge them self and others and do so in the open to create the best possible products, they take pride in what they do but at the same time they are open to acknowledge that it can be done better.
Be part of something bigger - I decided to join a start-up since I want to be part of something bigger, build something that millions of people use or somehow touch every day, and that is something I believe Unacast will give me.
The challenge - With the success of Unacast we will get more and more technical challenges that we need to handle. Some of them are big data (real big data) processing, machine learning, zero downtime in a highly scalable system and more. All those challenges is something I want to help solving.
The technology - After working as an IT-consultant for more than 10 years I got fed up on the bureaucracy in most of the project one has as an IT-consultant. Many customers have the attitude that they are only going to use technology that is “standard”, without realizing that what is standard today is outdated tomorrow. At Unacast we are doing everything in the cloud, which is great for the business and a great investment in the competence of the engineers.
I try to keep myself updated on as much so I can and apply my knowledge to all kind of different problems. My main tool for problem solving is my brain, languages IDEs and other tools come second. I always try to think of problems as functional problems, which almost all programming problems are at least (if you ask me). I think breaking a problem down to functions piece by piece makes it much easier to solve the overall problem and test the individual pieces, composing them back to an application is just fitting the pieces.
When it comes to what language I use depends on many things; what the rest of the team want to use, what make sense to use for the problem at hand, where is it going to run and more. If it where up to me all the time I would see more F# since I consider it as a nice mixture of functional programming but not to strict so it easy to have side effects if you need to.
The atmosphere. Everyone are really relaxed, but at the same time they have a strong focus in what we are doing. We do this because we think it is fun, and if it isn’t fun we make it fun.
Hopefully I will make an impact that I can be proud of. I will learn a lot more about technology, architecture and programming paradigms that will be relevant in next decade. I will also experience how it is to form a culture at a start-up, defining processes and re-defining processes, which will be as important to me as the technical experience in the years to come.